Question: When can a high school baseball team outscore its opponent and NOT be credited with a victory?
Answer: When the rule book says so.
Evanston’s 7-game winning string was snapped in an unusual fashion Tuesday as Hersey hung a 5-4 defeat on the Wildkits in a non-conference matchup in Arlington Heights.
A two-run rally by the visiting Wildkits didn’t officially count when the umpires called the game in the top of the 7th inning due to darkness. The final score reverted back to the score after six full innings according to National Federation of High School Association rules.
The Central Suburban League suspends games in those situations, to make sure games are fully played out, and Illinois High School Association state tournament games are also played out to their conclusions on another date. But Hersey eked out a victory despite issuing five consecutive walks to the visitors in the 7th, combined with a wild pitch and a passed ball, as rain and darkness closed in.
Evanston fell to 7-2 on the season while the Huskies improved to 2-4 overall.
ETHS head coach Frank Consiglio wasn’t willing to accept a loss initially, but also wasn’t about to make the case that his squad deserved to win after mustering only 2 hits — singles by Charlie Maxwell and B.J. Johnson — and faltering on the mound, too.
“We didn’t play well mentally today, and I’m not pleased about that,” Consiglio said following his team’s first loss since the season opener. “In two situations we left some fat pitches out there for them to take advantage of. They should know that if you make mistakes like that in May, your season is over.
“We didn’t execute pitches, we didn’t finish off hitters and we didn’t make enough good pitches in RBI situations today.”
The Huskies pushed across the winning run in the home half of the 6th when Matt Anderson, in relief of starter Joe Snapp, allowed a walk and a single by Alberto Garcia that pushed the go-ahead run to third base.
One out later ETHS reliever Maxwell yielded a sacrifice fly by Owen Goldsberry for what turned out to be the winning run. Goldsberry also drove in two runs in the 4th with a two-out double into the left field corner against Snapp.
Snapp also yielded a two-run homer to Hersey’s Tanner Luke, a fly ball that landed just over the fence about 325 feet away in the first inning.
Maxwell’s bases-loaded, two-out single in the third pulled the Kits into a 2-2 tie and Evanston added a run in the fifth when Ben Wilson walked and came around to score on a fielder’s choice and two wild pitches by reliever Adam O’Neill.
In a first and third situation in the sixth, the Wildkits pulled off a double steal with pinch runner Jay Wilson scoring on the back end of the play to create a 4-4 deadlock while Drew Martinson was striking out.
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.